Posts Tagged ‘Nintzel’

15th April
2009
written by JHiggins

A DIFFERENT SORT OF TRANSPARENCY

by Jim Nintzel – The Tucson Weekly – April 15, 2009

Rumors are swirling that the underlying tensions between council members Nina Trasoff and Karin Uhlich—exemplified by the fact that Trasoff was furious about Uhlich’s decision to fire Mike Hein last week—stem from the fact that both women harbor ambitions about becoming mayor in two years, when Republican Bob Walkup’s third term comes to an end.

Uhlich says she believes in a simple, nonpolitical mantra: “Do good work; work hard; stay centered on the public’s interest; and the politics unfold. I don’t know what doors will open to me in the future, if any. I think a lot of people in public office get pulled off-track by looking toward whatever ambition might lie ahead. And so I don’t do that.”

Okey-dokey.

During the TV interview, Uhlich also said she was open to increasing the city’s environmental-services fee, which was derided by Democrats as a “garbage tax” when Uhlich and Trasoff were running for office four years ago.

Uhlich, who had supported a trash fee when she was on the city’s budget committee in the 1990s, was more careful about her rhetoric than Trasoff during the campaign. Rather than calling for a repeal of the fee, she criticized the implementation of it. She also declined to take any kind of position on what should be done about it, saying only that the council needed “to revisit the whole thing and put everything back on the table.”

After they were elected, Uhlich and Trasoff made an effort to persuade their colleagues to consider reducing the fee, but the once the incumbent Democrats who had opposed the “garbage tax” actually had the power to do something about it, they discovered they liked spending all that money. Surprise, surprise.

Now Uhlich says the fee, like many others in the city, isn’t too high after all. Instead, it’s too low and should be indexed to inflation and subject to regular increases. Now that’s what we call revisiting.

Uhlich says indexing fees to inflation makes sense, because too often, politicians don’t regularly increase fees.

“Often, governing bodies are afraid of any revenue discussion,” Uhlich said. “We avoid it, avoid it, avoid it, avoid it, and then every 10 years, there’s a 25 to 50 percent jump.”

We wonder why politicians are afraid of talking about raising revenues, which is the latest code for hiking taxes. It could be because when they do, challengers come along and relentlessly pound them for doing so. Good thing Uhlich is above that kind of thing.

Listening to Uhlich reminded us of how the City Council avoided any talk of raising bus fares until last year, when the Transportation Department suggested a 25-cent hike in bus fares. Who led the opposition to that increase? Oh, yeah—Karin Uhlich.

Instead, the City Council threatened to fire Hein and created a new mass-transit committee to consider whether the increase was justified. And even though that committee came back with a recommendation to hike the fee, the council has taken no action.

So let’s see if we understand how this is supposed to work: First, support a fee. Then oppose its implementation, because the increase is too high. Then once elected, keep it at its current level until costs increase, and then call for annual future increases.

We can’t imagine why Mike Hein would run into trouble working with these people.

(We wouldn’t be surprised to see Ward 4 Councilwoman Shirley Scott show some interest in that contest as well. And we’re not counting out Ward 2 Councilman Rodney Glassman, although we hear he might have his eye on the larger prize of Arizona secretary of state.)

On Arizona Illustrated last week, Uhlich said she had no plans to run for mayor in two years and is concentrating on winning re-election in November. But she also declined to pledge to serve her full four years if re-elected.

26th March
2009
written by Downtown Dudette

Jim Nintzel from the Tucson Weekly finally took a jab at the Democratic City Council for their handling of Rio Nuevo.  Fast forward to 2.19 minutes for the for history in the making.

Nintzel Changes Tune On Arizona Illustrated

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